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At the Gate - Thursday
Coming up on Saturday is the next Road to the Kentucky Derby points race with a compact field of five going in the $300,000 Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (G1).

The buzz colt is the Bob Baffert trained McKinzie, who was a very impressive maiden winner in his debut at Santa Anita. The $170,000 Keeneland purchase drew off to win by 5 ½ lengths and earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure.

Baffert will also saddle Solomini, who ran second to Good Magic in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in his last outing. The colt broke his maiden in his debut and then ran second to Bolt d’Oro in the Frontrunner (G1) at Santa Anita.

Baffert has won the last three editions of the race, with Mastery last year, Mor Spirit in 2015 and Dortmund in 2014. The Hall of Fame trainer has won the race a record nine times.

Jerry Hollendorfer sends out recent maiden winner Instilled Regard, who broke his maiden in his third career start and first trip around two turns.

Runaway Ghost is the lone stakes winner in the field winning the Golden Nugget at Golden Gate Fields in his last start.

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Completing the field is For Him, who ran fourth in the Zuma Beach on grass at Santa Anita in his most recent outing. The Michael Pender trainee broke his maiden for a $50,000 tag at Del Mar on the main track.

Also on Saturday’s card is the $300,000 Starlet (G1) which drew a compact field of just five juvenile fillies.

I will have selections and analysis for both races in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

To purchase my Aqueduct Report for Thursday click here.

Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:

AQU Race 1 Md $40,000 (12:50 ET)
#2 She's Cookin 8-1
#1 Cetara 7-2
#4 Grandpa's Arianna 5-2
#3 Jacqueline D 4-1

Analysis: She's Cookin set the early fractions and weakened to finish fourth last out going a mile on the main track in a race taken off the turf. She was seventh two back in her lone go on turf but willing to give her another look on the surface here. She is out of the dirt stakes winner Culinary ($271,680) who has dropped four winners and two have won on turf, top earner stakes winner Coastline ($444,921). Looks as if she will be a decent price in this spot.

Cetara carved out the early fractions and weakened to finish third last out going six furlongs on turf. Sher stretches back out to a route here and was seventh in her last start going long on turf at the Spa back in August. She has enough pedigree to go long, by Giant's Causeway out of a Malibu Moon mare, her first foal to race. The Serpe barn is 15% winners moving runners from sprint to route.

Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,3,4
TRI: 1,2 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3,4,7

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 6 Alw $50,000s (3:17 ET)
#5 Truly a Moon Shot 7-2
#2 Polar Jet 5-1
#6 Northern 5-1
#1 Killybegs Captain 6-1

Analysis: Truly a Moon Shot tracked the early pace from the inside, came out for the stretch drive and could not get to the winner in a runner up finish against $30,000 non-winners of two last out at Churchill Downs. The winner was Sevier, who came back to beat $50,000 non-winners of three in his next outing on Nov. 22. He graduated back in June at Monmouth Park. He makes his second start off a two month break for the Breen barn that is off to a slow start at the meeting (0 for 13) and Garcia has been slow to get started since shifting his tack here but did pick up a win on yesterday's card.

Polar Jet dueled for the early lead, took over the lead and drew clear to beat $25,000 non-winners of two by 8 1/2 lengths. The colt raced over a racing strip that was kind to speed that day. It was his first go off a six-month layoff for Rice who is 30% winners (with a +ROI) with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff. He owns a solid pace profile throughout with good early and mid pace numbers.

Wagering
WIN: #5 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 1,2,5,6
TRI: 2,5 / 1,2,5,6 / 1,2,4,5,6

Live Longshots:
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.

Aqueduct
R1: #2 She’s Cookin 8-1
R5: #7 Terralsole 10-1
R8: #2 Naples Parade 8-1


Good luck today!

  
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HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike Dempsey Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders' Cup.
The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes.

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